They say bad news travels fast, but you’re the enemy of this battle turtle by Jayfa, then your bad day might take a while to arrive. This little four-legged LEGO mech is delightfully tank-like, just like its real-life armored inspiration, but unlike fleshy reptiles it’s got a big artillery piece letting it lob shells instead of just hiding in one. The ring of inverted 1×2 slopes (likely attached to a piece of flex tubing) is something we don’t often see on mechs, but gives this cold beast a great organic curvature. And of course, I have to mention the Bionicle shoulder plate for the head, which looks almost made for the purpose.
When it comes to making superb creatures out of buildable figure parts, no builder is better than Jayfa. From dragons to dinosaurs, monsters to men, Jayfa can build them all and make them look amazing. This latest creation is no exception. Called the Oracle Dragon, it has glow-in-the-dark antlers, spines, and eyes, along with the coolest mustache since Lando Calrissian. It was inspired by a stop-motion puppet, and does a great job of capturing the look. With the posability of the joints, one could feasibly use the LEGO model for stop-motion movies, as well. That’d be cool.
The wing elements from Legends of Chima look great as the tufts on the tail, and I love the translucent pieces on the underbelly of the beast. In fact, the whole color scheme is fantastic, including the splash of red on the back of the head. The antlers make interesting use of minifigure hands and flex tube for their unique shape (but don’t tell the purists, because I think the flex tube has been cut!). The best part of it all, though, is that face. I’m going to have to study the face to copy it for a dragon of my own down the line, because it is incredible, so simple yet so expressive. Curious what the eyes and antlers look like glowing? Here it is:
I’ve always felt that there’s something magical about transparent LEGO bricks and that transparent purple LEGO bricks are extra magical. Builder Jayfa also sees something in those elements, as evidenced by their Voidwalker. The entire build is an ode to “nice part usage.” Hero Factory ball joints and armor create the body of an elegant beast. Meanwhile, White Hero Factory armor covers the body, leading to a head that combines Legend of Chima wings with an eerie black large figure armor for the face. Even the tail ends in style, with minifigure wings at the tip.
According to the photo description, Voidwalker was built in just two days. I wish my own creations came together with such quick beauty!
Demons stalk the night. Or at least they do in Jayfa‘s world. This LEGO Bionicle creation is a wonderfully dark and brooding character, put together using a prototype mask and custom-designed wing membranes. The pose is excellent, powerful and intimidating, and the colour scheme is spot-on — those splashes of trans-blue work brilliantly with the pearl gold against all the black. Inexperienced warlocks beware, this probably wasn’t the low-level denizen of the Netherworld you meant to summon…
We’re seeing a lot of planetary themed builds lately and I couldn’t be more pleased. This time builder Jayfa takes on Pluto, deemed a planet in 1930, then shunned into the cold abyss of non-planetary status in the early aughts and then (depending on which publications you read) has been recategorized as a planet. Maybe. Wait, is Pluto a planet again this week? No matter what its official status, you can’t help but give some love to the distant little dwarf. Here Pluto has been embodied as a hammer-wielding dwarven cyclopian blacksmith with icy claw bits for a mustache and even his fists are an icy blue. Massive Viking wheels and trans-light blue webbed radar dishes make up the hammer. The photography, with its light and dark elements, is nothing short of magic. The end result is a blacksmith who makes weapons and armor fitting of the gods.
Some people think talking to plants helps them grow faster. To that, I say it’s all great until one of those plants turns into a man-eating flower bent on devouring you, green thumb and all. Unafraid of the consequences, Jayfa built this LEGO beauty of a ferocious flower. The curved stem and flower petals are cleverly formed using constraction (constructible action figure) elements, along with palm tree leaf pieces and a tan prickly bush. Fortunately, this looks like something you would find in a Castlevania game instead of your backyard, but you never know what the garden guru next door might be cooking up….
If you like fantastical creatures like this, you’ll also want to check out Jayfa’s colorful Rygas the Basilisk.
There are no limits when it comes to the fantastical creations that can be created from the wide range of LEGO elements. A recent favourite of mine is Jayfa’s model of Rygas the Basilisk. The colour palette is visually striking, and the part selection is outstanding. While it might seem obvious to use a 4×7 wing piece on a bird, it’s rather ingenious to use it as the side of the belly rather that actually on the wing! When it comes to plumage being recreated, other techniques include the connection of a dinosaur tail piece to a small horn and the cacophonic positioning of Hero Factory flame elements.
However, my absolute favourite aspect of this creation is its posture, especially the feet. Not satisfied to duplicate a single design of a foot, Jayfa has designed two separate positions for the feet in a way that really brings the beast to life. It’s not just standing there, but what is it doing? Is it dancing or ready to pounce? Couple that with the look on its face, and I think anyone challenging this monster is in for a bad time.
Some people suffer from arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. Other people suffer from robophobia, the fear of robots. After seeing Jayfa‘s latest build, I think I now suffer from arachnorobophobia, the fear of spider-robots. The Huntsman, or Plague Mech: Pi, takes some inspiration from the huntsman spider, which in some regions can have a legspan of nearly a foot (30cm); the long limbs of the mech clearly mimic that of the leggy arachnid, and the large fangs look capable of delivering a devastating punch of poison.
The mech looks almost like a cross between General Grievous from Star Wars and a Xenomorph from Alien. Neither of those are friendly, and judging by the menacing pose and darkly ominous lighting, this one is not nice either. The details are what really make it unique, however. Minifigure hands give the fingers a grasping quality, and the ribbed hoses add a touch of texture to liven up all of the black. Tiny highlights of red and transparent-red elements make it even more sinister. Clever connections in the arms allow all sorts of poses, making it capable of reaching out to clutch its helpless prey. I am not sure I will be able to sleep tonight with this nightmare of a Huntsman lurking about. How about you?
With the release of the most recent How to Train Your Dragon movie, we’ve seen several builds of loveable Toothless floating around. But none of the others are quite like this version, designed by one of our favorite artists, Jayfa! Great skill has gone into the shaping of the head. And feet… Actually, there is great shaping happening all over this little dragon!
Toothless’ playful nature is perfectly captured in this model. Perhaps my most favorite part is the eyes because they’re so expressive. A minifigure hand inserted into each of the ball socks was quite clever. And while I’m personally a purist, the little white bit cut from a claw/tooth element is undeniably a brilliant finish. Is it ironic that the actual tooth part was left behind?
Jayfa is a master of this style, and most of his creations come from his own imagination. Just check out a pair of some of his best mechs. Want to build your own version of a similar dragon? Check out this Toothless with instructions, designed by Build Better Bricks.
Years after being discontiniued, Bionicle remains a strong and very much autonomous theme in LEGO fan builds. Unique pieces and almost complete freedom of angles set it apart from most other styles, but was it always so? Jayfa and Andrew Steele bring us back to 2002, a time when Bionicle was still searching for an identity and was for the most part a sub-theme to Technic. The glorious titan set Cahdok and Gahdok was a load of gears, rubber bands, liftarms and most importantly, play features. I do not think this re-imagining has much of those, but it does capture the spirit of the Bohrok queens.